I often get requests for a lush foliage garland centrepiece, particularly for long tables or sweetheart tables. And I can see why: done well, it can be a really gorgeous look! Especially when you add a ton of super-romantic candlelight, thread in some fluffy flowers… yeah. Super pretty. 


Except that garland is a) a HUGE investment and b) kinda been done… a lot.



Why is that garland centrepiece so pricey?


There are a couple of reasons why garland costs so much. Hand-made by your florist, it is incredibly labour-intensive (even with a garland-maker) and requires A LOT of quality foliage. Ordered from a company that specializes in garlands, it is still expensive, because it is still labour-intensive (just for someone else), and still requires a lot of quality foliage.


Believe me, that eucalyptus and Italian ruscus garland you have your eye on is likely to be one of the priciest floral pieces in the proposal. Wired garlands can range from $25-$40 PER FOOT, just for the foliage. You haven’t added florals to that (add another $5-$25+ per foot, depending on the type and fullness of flowers). So yes, you are potentially looking at that 20′ garland you saw on Pinterest setting you back $500-$1000+. 


Don’t get me wrong: I’m all for making a STATEMENT with your table florals. But if you have 20+ tables to flower, those garlands are going to send your wedding florals budget waaaay up, which may or may not fit your financial comfort zone. 


SO. What are the alternatives? Let’s go through a few options that I think are absolutely stunning (and, let’s face it: perhaps more – ahem – inventive than the ubiquitous garland that is so oft-pinned) and give you a little more room in your investment for other important floral pieces. (For more about what I think are the best places to spend your floral $$, head over to this post!)


Long & Low Arrangements


My favourite alternative to garland is a long, low centrepiece (created with no floral foam! Yay for the Earth!). What is so fab about this look is that these pieces can be used to line an aisle or create a semi-circular ceremony feature, or « ground arch », as I call them. I am ALL for maximizing my couples’ investments. Plus, who doesn’t want to enjoy their beautiful flowers for their entire wedding day?? 


Long, low seasonal centrepieces created without floral foam in a colourful, summery palette | Flourish & Knot | Montreal wedding florist | fleuriste mariage Montreal | Photo by L'Orangerie Photographie

Photo by L’Orangerie Photographie


This is the look we went with for S+J’s September wedding. S wanted long, flowing centrepieces that gave the look of a garden growing right out of the table. Boom! We didn’t use them for a ceremony or aisle feature, but we easily could have. 


Long wedding table setting with colourful fall florals by Flourish & Knot, pillar candles and gold chargers | Photo by L'Orangerie Photography | Florals by Montreal wedding florist Flourish & Knot

Photo by L’Orangerie Photographie


Moss-Based runners


There are a couple of fantastic things about going with a moss runner vs. wired garland: 1) it is potentially re-useable and therefore kinder to the Earth (assuming your floral designer is coming back for break-down at the end of the event) 2) it costs WAY less than wired garland (less product, more coverage for less $$, and it isn’t perishable) and 3) it gives a DIFFERENT look than what we see over and over on Pinterest.


Winter wedding table with moss and floral garland | Foam-free table garland with moss, orchids, anemone, hellebore | Table Setting by Gestion de Projet MVCo | Florals by Flourish & Knot | Photo by Photographie M'Vivre

Photo by Photographie M’Vivre


For this styled shoot at the Maison Trestler, I designed this centrepiece to work for both a round and rectangular table setting. The moss was a very flexible choice, meaning I could create a long, garland-style look, and also a style more suitable to a round banquet table. 


I threaded in individually water-tubed flowers as well as some petite foam-free arrangements. The idea was to have it look like the flowers were growing naturally out of the moss! I love how it turned out.


See more from this shoot here!


Winter wedding table with moss and floral garland | Foam-free table garland with moss, orchids, anemone, hellebore | Table Setting by Gestion de Projet MVCo | Florals by Flourish & Knot | Photo by Photographie M'Vivre | Stationery by Charlotte et Cie | Maison Trestler

Photo by Photographie M’Vivre


Bud Vases… Lots of them!


I love a good bud vase tablescape! Creating teeny little works of art that are each different from the next is just SO. MUCH. FUN. Plus, they are a fantastic way to send colour and texture all the way down a table, while bringing down the overall investment per table. 


Wedding table setting with large centrepiece and bud vases in terracotta and blue palette | Ceramic bud vases | Flourish & Knot Floral Design Montreal | Montreal Wedding Florist | Apple Orchard Wedding | Verger du Flanc Nord | Lulucoeurdebeurre | Kerstin Hahn Photography | Blue and terracotta wedding

Photo by Kerstin Hahn Photography


Let’s take that 20′ table we talked about earlier. At a minimum, a fully wired, lush garland (no flowers) would be $500 CAD. By comparison, a tablescape with one bud vases per foot (which would get arranged in groupings to be more visually interesting) would be around $300-$350. Which leaves way more room in the overall budget for other decorative details (WHICH ARE SO IMPORTANT) like candles, votives, a specialty linens. 


Blue, terracotta, and orange tablescape | Bud vase centrepiece with ceramic bud vases | Blue and terracotta wedding | Flourish & Knot Montreal Wedding Florist | Verger du Flanc Nord | Apple Orchard Wedding | Lulucoeurdebeurre | Kerstin Hahn Photography

Photo by Kerstin Hahn Photography


The bottom line


A fully-wired, lush garland centrepiece can be a gorgeous look for your wedding, especially on a long table. (I’m particularly fond of them for winter celebrations where we can incorporate locally-grown cedar and pine… the smell will be amazing!) But they are a big-ticket item that may not leave a lot of room in your budget for other essential decor touches like stationery, candles, votives, place settings, and quality linens. Make sure you take that into account if you have your heart set on a garland centrepiece, and consider giving your floral designer the freedom to come up with a look that will allow you to maximize the look for your budget. 

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